A wide-ranging interview. Here's one excerpt:
if you go back and look at what happened, the biggest sport in the United States once was football. This was in the 19th century. Everybody came over, and the immigrants played. I mean, St. Louis had a professional league, Chicago had a professional league, and then there was this move after the 1880s. And it's sort of an anti-immigrant wave to make people more American and to break down these ethnic boundaries that were becoming political flashpoints. And one of the ways that this was done was by inventing “American” sports. So baseball was the front-runner on this, and then it became football -- or the American understanding of football. These were all attempts to forge a collective identity. Because of that, American sports have never been endogenous grassroots. It's always in a sense been -- I don't want to say "manufactured", but essentially "manufactured", right?